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The ultimate employee onboarding checklist

You've chosen to grow your team, gone through interviews, and secured a promising candidate. While most of the groundwork is complete, there's one crucial step left in the hiring process: onboarding, which is certainly a stage you want to get right.

The quality of the new employee onboarding experience has a huge impact on talent retention. This phase not only conveys responsibilities and expectations which shape performance, but also forms initial impressions of the company.

Consequently, it directly impacts their belief in the organisation, as well as their overall confidence and happiness in their position. To ensure every new hire starts on the right foot in your company, we have put together the ultimate employee onboarding checklist and guide.

What is a new employee onboarding checklist?

Let's start by clarifying what an onboarding checklist is. An onboarding checklist is a resource which is used by hiring managers to systematically organise the various stages involved in guiding new hires as they begin their journey with the company. This checklist ensures that every step of the new hire onboarding process is successfully completed. Check out our previous blog, How to onboard a new employee, for an overview of the onboarding process. 

Why is an onboarding checklist important for new hires?

A well-defined checklist is crucial when welcoming a new employee to your team. The list should include topics and areas that need to be covered during the onboarding process to ensure that no important details are overlooked.

Whether it's a simple to-do list for the initial days or a comprehensive guide outlining tasks and information for the entire first month, a new employee onboarding checklist is very important for the following reasons.

Improved performance

Onboarding checklists play a crucial role in helping new hires excel in their roles. The checklist serves as a clear guide, outlining job responsibilities and expectations, providing new hires with a roadmap for success within the company and clarifying how success is measured.

In addition to covering procedural and informational aspects, the checklist also communicates company norms and culture, rapidly immersing new employees in the values and work atmosphere. This swift integration into company culture can make the transition easier for new hires, increasing the likelihood of them feeling comfortable enough to effectively collaborate and communicate with the rest of the team.

Boost retention

The onboarding process directly influences employee satisfaction within a company. It forms new first impressions of how much the company cares about its workforce and helps new hires understand what's expected of them. 

These aspects collectively shape how happy and confident they feel in their roles, setting them up for success in the company. It is unsurprising then that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

Conversely, inadequate onboarding significantly increases the likelihood of new hires leaving a company. Considering the substantial costs associated with hiring—nearly double the salary during the first year of employment— it is clear that providing new hires with a strong onboarding experience is very important.

One of the most effective ways to do so is by ensuring that the onboarding process is thorough. Sharing all the important info helps new hires get a handle on their roles, feel confident, and fit right into the team. 

An easy way to make sure onboarding covers everything it should is to use a checklist, so you don't miss any important details.

Consistency and efficiency

Having an onboarding checklist for new employees significantly improves the overall efficiency and consistency of the onboarding process. It serves as a straightforward and easily accessible resource that consolidates all the essential "need-to-knows” for hiring managers.

Having critical onboarding-related information in one centralised place eliminates the need to create a new checklist with each hire. This saves you from the hassle of searching through multiple documents or sharing information retroactively after the hire has already assumed their role.

As a result, it streamlines and enhances the efficiency of the entire onboarding process. For this reason, the checklists are especially beneficial when you are planning to make multiple hires simultaneously or within a short timeframe.

How to onboard a new employee: the ultimate employee onboarding checklist

When it comes to onboarding new employees, it's crucial to remember that this first impression can leave a lasting impact. This is your chance to create a positive image of the company and clearly communicate expectations to new hires. 

Below, we outline the key components to include in the ultimate new employee onboarding checklist.


The pre-onboarding stage refers to the period before the new hire’s first day. 

  • Accepting an offer

The first stage to include in the onboarding process for new employees is the signing of the employment contract. The candidate has only officially accepted the position at your organisation; this stage has been completed.

  • Welcome email

Make sure to extend a warm welcome to your new hire. Send a friendly email before their first day, expressing your excitement about their joining. Include essential details like start times, dress code, and workplace information. This simple gesture not only helps the new employee feel more prepared and confident but also conveys the company as organised, welcoming, and friendly.

  • Procure all devices and equipment

Next up in your new employee onboarding checklist is procuring all the devices and equipment required for the new hire to complete their duties. Make sure to secure everything in advance, so it's all set for their first day.

Devices and equipment that you may need to source include laptops, monitors, mobile phones, and accessories like mice and headphones. Having these essentials ready in advance avoids giving the impression that the company is disorganised or doesn't prioritise its employees.

  • Set up all online accounts

Setting up all necessary online accounts for new hires before their first day is another thing to add to your onboarding checklist. The last thing you want is for someone to start, only to have to waste half the day sorting this out.

Instead, identify the necessary resources, and work with the relevant team members to create these accounts well in advance. This ensures the new team member can dive into other tasks without getting bogged down by account setups during their first days.

  • Prepare your new hire paperwork

The best employee onboarding experiences have one key factor in common: organisation. Before the new hire walks through the door, whether that be virtual or in-person, you want to have all of the paperwork prepared and ready for them. 

If you are a paper-free organisation, simply have the documents ready electronically. This may include the likes of payroll information, employee handbook, tax documents and contact information. Having all of this ready for their first day sets a positive tone from the beginning.

Onboarding, orientation and training

The actual onboarding, orientation and training stages take place when the new hire begins at the company and is brought up to speed with organisational policies, job roles and responsibilities.

  • Give a tour

Consider incorporating a guided tour of the offices and facilities as part of your onboarding plan for new employees should include giving a tour of the offices and facilities —assuming your organisation is not fully remote. 

Familiarising new hires with these facilities helps them feel more comfortable and relaxed within the company. It empowers them to navigate the building independently, whether they need the restroom, lunch area or meeting space.

Additionally, you should take the opportunity to introduce other team members during the tour, promoting early connections and a welcoming atmosphere. If you are entirely onboarding remote employees, your checklist should include virtual introductions to all team members. 

For larger companies, you can focus on introducing individuals within their immediate team and the leaders of other departments.

  • Assign a mentor

While onboarding a new employee, it’s a great idea to designate a mentor for them. Ideally, this team member should be a colleague within their department who holds a similar or higher position within the company.

Assigning a mentor gives a new hire a reliable source of support and guidance as they navigate their early stages within the organisation. This helps them feel comfortable and less alone which leads to a smoother and more positive integration into the company.

  • Establish clear job expectations

Every checklist for the onboarding process for new employees should include setting job expectations. Failing to do so may result in a promising candidate with ample potential underperforming simply due to not being clear on performance benchmarks.

These expectations can include the likes of timing and time management, in-person attendance or specific performance key performance Indicators (KPIs). Providing clarity on these factors ensures that new hires understand and align with their objectives, setting a strong foundation for success right from the start.

  • Introduce company culture

Introducing your business mission and values on the first day is one of the best onboarding practices for new employees. This initial explanation not only sets the tone for their journey within the organisation but also provides a foundational understanding of the company’s identity and overarching purpose. 

This early introduction establishes a solid framework for employees to invest and connect with the company's vision and contribute meaningfully to its collective goals.

  • Promote team building

Consider adding actively encouraging team building to your new employee onboarding checklist. This can be as simple as starting casual chats and break-time conversations, scheduling team-building activities, or encouraging collaboration across departments.

Facilitating opportunities for new hires to connect with others in the company fosters a positive environment that promotes camaraderie, collaboration, and the development of strong working relationships within the team.

  • Training and skill development

In the training phase of your onboarding program, begin by outlining a typical day in the role, including daily responsibilities. Then, provide a comprehensive walkthrough of the tools needed, either through online resources or by involving a colleague from their department.

While doing this, be sure to identify and address any skill gaps. Then, implement support to help employees fill these gaps, ensuring a smooth transition and equipping them with the skills needed to excel in their new role.


The post-onboarding phase typically occurs between one and three months after the new hire begins their role. During this period, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive review of their experience within the organisation.

  • Performance evaluation and feedback

Schedule a meeting within the first three months to assess the new hire's progress, establish new goals, and provide constructive feedback. This session serves as an opportunity to acknowledge achievements and guide them on how to continue excelling within the company.

  • Onboarding feedback

Actively seek feedback from new employees regarding the onboarding process. Pose questions such as whether they felt supported and if they received adequate support and resources for their role. This practice helps pinpoint areas for improvement, ensuring a better experience for the next new hire.

For help with the onboarding process, learn more about our top 9 new employee onboarding software here.


The onboarding process significantly influences a new employee’s happiness and success in their role. Having a comprehensive checklist that covers each stage in the process prepared can greatly improve new hires’ experience, enhancing their potential within the company.


Are you expanding your team and seeking a foolproof onboarding process? At Touch Stay, we specialise in crafting comprehensive onboarding handbooks and checklists for employees. With our expertise, you can be confident that each new hire is seamlessly integrated.

Try our free 14-day trial and elevate your employee onboarding process today.